CTR in India – University of Copenhagen

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In October 2012 CTR went on a 10 day lecture and study tour to India. The aim of the tour was the exchange of scholarly information on the study of historical textiles with researchers in India, visits to textile crafts projects, and to host conferences in Delhi with seminars and workshops, and to plan future collaboration projects.

CTR co-hosted conferences in Delhi on two separate venues. The conferences consisted of papers by CTR experts, other Danish scholars from the National Museum and Designmuseum Danmark, European, Chinese  and American scholars as well as a number of Indian academics from JNU, Delhi University, The Indian National Museum, the Tapi Collection (amongst others) on various topics related to textile research.

On the 16th of October CTR was at Jawarhalal Nehru University participating in a one-day conference on 18th century textiles and the trade between India and Europe, arranged by colleagues in the Centre for Historical Studies, School of Social Sciences. 
On the 17th of October the conference changed venue to the India International Centre where the topic of this day’s conference will be international research on archaeology. In the afternoon there was a conservation workshop in collaboration with Indira Ghandi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA).


On the 18th of October CTR was invited by the Ministry of Textiles to visit the Indian Handicrafts and Gifts Fair in Delhi. The fair was hosted by the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts and promotes traditional craftsmanship of India.

CTR furthermore met with textile experts in Delhi, Ahmedabad, Surat and Varanasi.  

On the 19th of October there was a visit to the Bestseller Fund’s Varanasi Weavers and Button Project in Varanasi to be acquainted with traditional textile crafts.
On the 21st of October the CTR group visited the Calico Museum in Ahmedabad. The Museum has its focus on historical and technical study of Indian handicraft and industrial textiles.

22nd of October the tour continued in Surat where there was a visit to the Tapi Collection (Textiles and Art of the People of India). The collection has a large collection of rare Kashmir shawls and Mochi embroideries as well as many other historical textiles used for dress and interior decoration.

Research subjects for the conferences and after meetings during the stay:

• old Indian/Vedic/Sanskrit textile terminologies
• history of textile dyeing
• textile conservation
• the methodology and analysis of archaeological materials and contexts
• ancient textile craft and fibre procurement studies
• archaeological Indian key sites from the Bronze and Iron Ages
• archaeometry
• isotopic tracing
• exchange of laboratory practices and methodologies in the field of archaeometry
• cooperation on master level studies and PhD level courses between European and Indian universities in the Humanities and Social Sciences
• history of textile production and trade with Indian textiles to Europe and other European colonies in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries

These efforts to collaborate on a high scientific level with researchers and institutions in India are all part of CTR’s on-going research effort called Global Textile Encounters. This will result in the popular anthology Global Textile Encounters with contributions from scholars in India, China, Europe, the USA and Australia. The book will be published in English in New Delhi and in Chinese in Shanghai in 2013.

The conference and the study tour are financed partly by the Eliteforskprisen received by Marie-Louise Nosch in 2009, internationalisation funding from University of Copenhagen based on participation in EU collaborations and by the participants themselves.